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Great Gothic fiction

I love Gothic novels. Please tell me a great one to read.

by Heathcliffreply 2011/17/2012

Ooh, I'll go next! I love rivers. List all the rivers in South America for me!

by Heathcliffreply 104/20/2011

It's not a classic, but Jennifer Egan, the writer who won this year's Pulitzer for fiction, wrote a book a few years ago called "The Keep". It's probably the best contemporary novel I've read that could be called gothic. She uses a lot of gothic elements (the crumbling castle, the lurid secrets), but in service of a modern storyline. It's quite strange, with a great sense of atmosphere and mood.

by Heathcliffreply 204/20/2011


by Heathcliffreply 304/20/2011

I am a big fan of Daphne du Maurier, and the majority of her novels would fall under this category ("Rebecca" being the most famous). I would recommend her "The King's General" "My Cousin Rachel" "Jamaica Inn" - you can't go wrong with any du Maurier novel really.

If you are looking for a gay gothic novel, I would recommend Vincent Virga's "Gaywyck." The sequel "Vadriel Vail" was not as good - I LOVED "Gaywyck" when I first read it.

by Heathcliffreply 404/20/2011

House of Usher by Poe%0D %0D +1 for Frankenstein%0D %0D Dracula by Bram Stoker

by Heathcliffreply 504/20/2011

Jane Eyre!

by Heathcliffreply 604/20/2011

wuthering heights?

by Heathcliffreply 704/20/2011

Anne Radcliffe, "The Mysteries of Udolfo." The seminal Gothic novel, and although a bit much at times, wonderful. Also, "The Monk" (name???--I read it in grad school, and loved it), and yes, Du Maurier. Read "My Cousin Rachel," "Rebecca," and "Jamaica Inn." I've never been able to understand why she does not have a bigger following.

by Heathcliffreply 804/20/2011

Affinity by Sarah Waters is probably considered Gothic, right? It's mostly a lesbian novel so I don't know if you'd like it if you're a gay guy. I thought it was good but not great. Great was her other novel, Fingersmith. That one's Victorian but it might have elements you'd like.

by Heathcliffreply 904/20/2011

Try The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield.

It's one of the only modern novels I've found that's truly Gothic in the spirit of Anne Radcliffe (in the best kind of way). It's got deep mysteries, possible ghosts, ruins and secrets, and of course dark, tragic characters.

It's been so long since I had read one, not since a moderate addiction to Gothic lit in college, that I had forgotten how interesting it was to fall into that kind of story.

by Heathcliffreply 1004/20/2011

Hawthorne's "The House of the Seven Gables". It's a great read.

by Heathcliffreply 1104/20/2011

The author of "The Monk," Matthew Lewis, was gay, and "The Monk" is the gayest of the great Gothic novels, not to mention the most sexually explicit.

by Heathcliffreply 1204/23/2011


by Heathcliffreply 1304/23/2011

'The Lost Stradivarius' by John Meade Falkner.

by Heathcliffreply 1411/15/2012

'Lilith' by George MacDonald

by Heathcliffreply 1511/16/2012

Tess d'Ubervilles

by Heathcliffreply 1611/17/2012

Wilkie Collins, "The Woman in White"

by Heathcliffreply 1711/17/2012

How about Southern Ontario Gothic? Does The Blind Assassin count?

by Heathcliffreply 1811/17/2012

I am a huge fan of the genre. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and the great novels by the three Bronte sisters ("Jane Eyre" and "Villette" by Charlotte, "The Tenant of Wildfell hall" by Anne, and "Wuthering Heights" by Emily) are the best of them all, but after those, here are my favorites:

Matthew Lewis: "The Monk" is probably the most fun and most satisfying 18th century Gothic novel; most of the ones by other famous practitioners, like Anne Radcliffe and Horace Walpole, are boring today. But "The Monk," while deeply crazy and rambling, is incredibly fun.

Charles Dickens: Two of his greatest novels, "Great Expectations" and "Bleak House," set the pattern for much of the so-called "sensation fiction (i.e. mid-Victorian Gothic fiction mostly set in English cities in the present) that followed by his great friend Wilkie Collins and also by lesser bout worthwhile writers such as Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Sheridan Le Fanu. His final novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" is terrific even though it's unfinished: he was clearly here explicitly trying to write a book like his friend Collins' works (even though Collins was clearly modeling his own novels after "Bleak House').

Wilkie Collins: Probably the most complex and most satisfying sensation novelist (after Dickens). His four great novels from the 1860s are all worth reading: "The Woman in White" (best of all), "The Moonstone," "No Name" and "Armadale." His novel right before this period, "The Dead Secret" is also great, as is his novel right after this period, "The Law and the Lady."

J. Meade Falkner: He wrote only three novels, but they are three of the most fun and exciting novels in the English language. He's very popular in Britain, but less well known in the United States. My favorite of all of them is "The Nebuly Coat" (which influenced dozens of later Gothic novels) but the other two, "Moonfleet" and "The Lost Stradivarius," are also topnotch.

Bram Stoker: Although everyone knows "Dracula" (which is a superb book), he wrote several other very fine and exciting novels, including "The Mystery of the Sea" and "The Jewel of the Seven Stars" (an early mummy novel).

Richard Marsh: Bram Stoker's contemporary wrote a novel the same year as "Dracula" that sold even better and is just as thrilling: "The Beetle" (like "The Jewel of the Seven Stars," this was also a supernatural novel about the Egyptology craze sweeping England in the 1890s).

Daphne du Maurier: The best practitioner of the Gothic in the 20th century, her books are almost all great reads. "rebecca" (a re-writing of "Jane Eyre") is by far the most famous, but hugely worth a look are "Jamaica Inn" (her most brotnean), "My Cousin Rachel," "The Scapegoat," "The King's General," "The House on the Strand," "Frenchman's Creek," and her great short stories.

Angela Carter: The best postmodern practitioner of the Gothic. I'm a huge fan of "The Magic Toyshop," her most explicitly Gothic novel, but there are interesting Gothic elements in "Nights at the Circus" and the hugely underrated and beautifully atmospheric dystopian sci-fi novel "Heroes and Villains."

Charles Pallisar: This guy has written two novels intentionally meant to reinvoke the spirit of Charles Dickens and J. meade Falkner's Gothic fiction. "The Quincunx" is the longer and more famous of the two, but the best is "The Unburied."

by Heathcliffreply 1911/17/2012

Dragonwyck by Anya Seton is a classic of the genre, and a fun read.

My sister named her second daughter Miranda after the main character.

by Heathcliffreply 2011/17/2012
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